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George Walden
US Army soldier in New Guinea and the Philippines

Hollandia Humbolt Bay Kaiten Attack
Japanese submarine I-47, commanded by Zenji Orita launched four Kaiten manned torpedoes (piloted by Lt. Kawakubo, Muramatsu, Sato and Hara) into Humbolt Bay beginning at 4:15am at 5 minute intervals on January 12, 1945. At 5:21 a single explosion rocked the anchorage, damaging the Liberty ship Pontus Ross. The other Kaitens failed to do any damage.

"Coincidences like this keep amazing me; who would have thought I would live so close to where part of a ship was buried that was torpedoed in the same bay where our troop ship was anchored! It has taken me almost 60 years to find out what actually happened that morning (January 12, 1945) when we were jolted out of bed. I have tried to find the ship's log for the Holbrook, only to discover that all such logs were destroyed in the 50's.The concrete filled bow of this ship is one of many buried in a Liberty Ship Memorial Park, Oregon on the southern bank of the Willamette River between the Freemont and Broadway bridges on Naito parkway."

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San Fernando
When I was at San Fernando, the nearest airfield was Clark Field, then a part of Fort Stotsenberg.

George Walden recalls:
"I was stationed at San Fernando for several months [in 1945]. I have since corresponded with Marco Lazatin who runs some supermarkets (ESSEL) and large bakery. Our office staff (3 enlisted men and 3 officers) once was invited over for dinner at his grandfather's house, the one that was occupied during the Japanese occupation by General Homma, leader of the Death March. The grandfather, Serafin Lazatin, was the owner of PASUDECO (Pampanga Sugar Development Company) plus a lot of sugar cane acreage (He was later murdered by the Huks - communist rebels). As you can see from the 2002 photo, the Lazatin family is quite large. Marco once told me that gang gets together every Sunday for dinner.

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Watch Band From Japanese Wrecks
"I got the aluminum from the Jap planes sitting on Clark Field; the transparent band was from plane windshields. Initially I used a pair of toenail scissors to cut the aluminum, then my mother sent me a jeweler's saw so I could make the fine cut - outs in the straps that held the watch (I had an aunt who was a jeweler, so she had the tools) I "bummed" a supply of aluminum rivets from the shop at Clark. I remember making a band for one of our officers in exchange for him getting me a pair of Oxford shoes at the Manila officers PX so I no longer had to wear combat boots!"

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